Working Through the Local Church
The local church, as a spiritual and social institution, is Compassion’s most crucial partner in each community. More and more churches in Burkina Faso are working with Compassion to nurture and protect children. Such partnerships are vital in implementing Compassion’s holistic, age-appropriate curriculum, which focuses on children’s spiritual, intellectual, socio-emotional and physical development. While young children might be learning about their five senses, teens are learning about leadership or how to have successful relationships. Compassion and the church are also instrumental in providing extracurricular activities for children, such as community service opportunities, music classes, gardening, and tutoring. These activities, and many others, create a sense of unity among children, even among different age groups.
How Compassion Works in Burkina Faso
Compassion’s work in Burkina Faso began in the summer of 2004. Currently, more than 42,000 children participate in 172 child development centers. Compassion partners with churches and denominations to help them provide Burkinabé children with the opportunity to rise above their circumstances and become all that God has created them to be.
The Role of a Partnership Facilitator
The Partnership Facilitator (PF) is the key link between Compassion and the local church, and the first person people contact if there is a problem. The PF shares Compassion’s vision with church partners and oversees its implementation at centers. Kafo Inoussa Bene, a PF in charge of 15 centers in Burkina Faso, joined Compassion in May 2008. “There are many challenges, including having enough classrooms,” he says. “Fortunately, Compassion has the Complementary Interventions fund, so I can encourage partners to write for monetary assistance for special projects.” Kafo, who is passionate about children and Compassion’s mission, strives to ensure a respectful and trusting relationship between churches and families so that all benefit.